It is negligible to have a hydraulic system without at least one valve. When working with a hydraulic system, there are possibilities to have a breakdown due to damaged components. The damaged part can be either a pump, motor, valve, cylinders, or any other. But here, we can understand how to decide whether to replace or repair a hydraulic valve when it is not working as intended.
The role of a hydraulic valve is to control and regulate fluid flow through the circuit. Different valves used for handling various tasks are available in the market. Depending on the valve features and construction, the cost for these valves will also vary. Some will be costly and others will be comparatively less expensive. But, all these valves will have the risk of malfunctioning because of contamination, wrong assembly, incorrect operation, etc… When these valve malfunctions occur, there are only two solutions, either repair or replace. When to repair or when to replace will depend on certain conditions that are discussed below.
It is necessary to provide special attention from initial valve selection to replacement. When selecting a new valve for a new system, it is highly appreciated to select the best-fit valve by considering different parameters like system design parameters, flow media, valve configuration, pressure requirements, etc…. Even if you select all these parameters accordingly and fail to assemble, then the result will be a breakdown or failure by damaging the valve.
In most cases repairing a hydraulic cylinder is cost-effective than replacement. But, it can’t be easily predicted when to repair or replace. Experienced technicians can identify this easily with a simple inspection. If you are not that much experienced, then here are some tips for you to make the decision.
When the hydraulic system is not operating as intended, the technician will check the reason for poor performance using different tools. If the hydraulic valve is found defective, the technician will disassemble the valve and clean it for inspection. They will identify which part of the valve was damaged and how to repair it properly. The damaged hydraulic valve component can be either the seal, control shaft, feedback spindle, or any other.
When a single component in the valve is damaged, it is better suited to repair that component. Compared to replacement, valve repairing is less time-consuming and affordable. Faulty screw/bolt, broken seal, etc… are minor valve faults that cause poor performance and can be eliminated easily without much effort.
It is also suggested to consider the performance of other valve components to decide if it needs to be repaired or replaced. Sometimes, the faulty component will be a control shaft and while inspecting the technician find other components are also having a greater risk of damage due to wear and tear, then the suggested choice will be a valve replacement.
What if many valve parts are damaged? Then the only solution is to replace the faulty valve completely. Because individually repairing multiple parts will cost more and consumes time. Also, it is better to replace those valves that get damaged frequently. But, before replacing the valve due to continuous damage, it is advised to check other connected components and other required specifications. If the valve is not suitable for your system specification, then need to replace it with a valve having matching specification.
All these repairs and replacements need to be completed under the supervision of experienced hydraulic technicians. When assembling and disassembling the valve, utmost care needs to be provided. Else, any contaminants or scratches on the valve will occur.